Lace Sutton Blouse

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Did you know I was chosen as a contestant for the Super Online Sewing Match over at Sew Mama Sew?  I’ve been a little quiet about it, probably because I’m a little bit nervous (okay, a lot nervous) but I’m also super excited to compete and sew along!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Our first challenge was to sew the Sutton Blouse (pattern by Kelli over at True Bias). At first that calmed my nerves a bit since I’ve sewn this pattern before and then I started second guessing all of my decisions when I was fabric shopping. Should I choose fabric that can show off my stripe matching skills, or maybe pattern matching skills. And then Josh eventually chimed in with good advice (his advice usually is pretty good) and said “Teresa, you were chosen to compete, so stay true to your style. Sew what you would normally sew and if you are chosen to move on in the competition, then great! If not, you’ve sewn some things that you’ll wear and love.”  Good advice, huh?

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

So here’s my new top, sewn in black rayon challis from the imagine gnats shop. I used the same rayon for my last Sutton (just a different color). Ooh, I should mention, my last Sutton gets worn about once a week, so I knew this fabric would be great for another Sutton. Perfect drape, perfect weight, and it holds up to lots of washes!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

I love the contrast fabric options with the yoke, so i cut my yoke piece out of cotton / nylon / rayon lace fabric from Jo Ann (I liked that the lace wasn’t too flowery and it had great drape). This lace, rayon combo is nothing new. Caroline (from Blackbird Caroline Fabric) has sewn a similar Sutton and I love the look of her top!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

My last Sutton I sewed in a size 4, where my measurements put me, and the fit is great! This time, though, I sized down the pattern and sewed a size 2. I knew there was enough ease in the pattern that it would still fit great, just a slimmer silhouette. The only other pattern change I made was when I finished the sleeves. I didn’t want to just fold my lace fabric over, so instead I cut two more one inch wide bias strips from my rayon and finished the sleeves just like the neck.

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift I ironed the shirt, I promise.  Rayon Challis just wrinkles easily, and the light caught my wrinkles just right, agh!

I love how Kelli’s pattern instructions walk you through a beautiful finish inside and out. All of the seams (except the sides) are french seamed. And the sides of my blouse are surged and then turned under and stitched, leaving a clean finish! These pictures below give you a little peek at the insides…

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Phew, round one of the Super Online Sewing Match is done…I’ve never sewn something so meticulously, making sure each seam was perfect! And even better, I love my new top!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Striped Dress Tutorial

I know I’m not much of a pattern girl (patterns printed on fabric) when I’m sewing for myself, but stripes, they are a different story.  They send my heart aflutter.  I love their clean lines and simplicity.

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

I have a super simple summer dress tutorial for you, sewn out of the softest rayon knit fabric, in none other than stripes.  In fact, Melissa has been rounding up summer dress tutorials all month long, leaving you with 30 + dresses to inspire you to pull out your sewing machine and make something great this summer!

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Ready for the easy instructions!  Here we go:

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

1.  Grab your favorite tank top and trace around it on your fabric, adding 3/8 inch for seam allowance.  Add length to make it a dress, and about 1 inch at your hips to give your hips some room!  Do the same for the back.

*Stripe tip: to help match your stripes, place your tank top underarm at the same stripe for the front and back.

2.  With right sides together, sew the front and back side seams.  Sew the shoulder seams as well.  Use either your serger or a knit stitch on your sewing machine.

*Stripe tip: to help match your stripes while sewing, pin, pin, and pin some more!  Without pins, your fabric wants to move a little, and nothing is worse than stripes that are just barely off!

3.  Finish off your neck and armhole openings.  I used a knit binding method following this tutorial here!

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

That’s it.  I left my dress hem unfinished, knowing I liked the casual look, but you could easily fold up the bottom hem one inch and stitch in place.

Striped Dress Tutorial :: Dandelion Drift

P.S.  Melissa has a great giveaway here full of goodies!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

I don’t know what the weather is like around you all, but it is HOT here!  Seriously HOT!  Like five minutes outside and I feel like I am melting!  This summer, I’ve been living in anything loose fitting to help beat the heat, and that means skirts and dresses!  I love shorts and t shirts, but man, even a t shirt is sweltering in this Florida heat!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

My loose, comfy dress department is lacking, so I’m thinking this summer I might need to make a few more southport dresses.  And Closet Case Files just released a pattern for a new maxi dress / jumpsuit!  Definitely on my to sew list!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

But for now I’ve been living in skirts!  Megan Nielsen has a great new free pattern for a circle skirt, with loads of options, the Veronika Skirt.  Since I love a quick sew every now and then, I sewed up the skirt in knit fabric with an elastic waistband.  Super comfy, super simple, and looks like I tried when I got dressed in the morning!  My kind of getting dressed!

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

This is sewn in Robert Kaufman laguna jersey, in emerald.  I know I’ve said this a million times before, but I live in a small town with not a lot of fabric buying options.  That leaves the internet to rescue me, and Robert Kaufman’s jersey is a safe buy!  I know it is good quality and will last after many, many washes.

Megan Nielsen Veronika Skirt :: Dandelion Drift

Have you added anything new to your summer sewing list?

The London Backpack

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

It’s not often I sew something for Sweet Pea just because.  No reason, but just because.  This bag was not something she needed, nor something she asked for, but I knew this pattern / fabric combination would be perfect for my girl (who sadly is not so very little anymore)!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Let me talk first about the fabric.  This is Caroline’s newest fabric line, Happy Home Fabrics for Art Gallery Fabrics.  I love the outside fabric with it’s little handwritten words.  My favorite word on the fabric is “chosen” but I knew I wanted to highlight the word “sweet” for my girl, because that just sums up her personality!  I did a little hand stitching in green around the word “sweet” on the front flap just to add a small detail.  The inside fabric is also from the Happy Home Fabric collection (which I love that it coordinates without being matchy matchy)!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Okay, the pattern.  This is the London Backpack pattern by Vanessa of LBG studios.  You can find it for sale here (over at Willow and Co.) and the moment I saw it I bought it knowing it would be perfect for Sweet Pea.  She’s at that stage where sleep overs are her favorite thing.  In fact I asked her what was on her summer wish list and all she could think about was sleep overs with her friends.  This backpack is the perfect little overnight bag to tuck away a change of clothes and the little necessities a 10 year old (ahh…almost 11 year old) would need!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

I know I talk a lot about details, but man that is what makes my knees shake when I see a pattern (okay, really my knees aren’t shaking, it’s my purchase finger that is shaking, ha!).  This bag is not a quick sew, and that is something I love.  Vanessa has jam packed this pattern with details, from an interior hanging zipper pocket, a large exterior pocket in the back, grommets for the tie closure, ahhh, I love it all!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

I had a hard time finding the right hardware for the bag.  Sometimes living in a small town can be rough.  Small town = small fabric stores = not a big selection!  I could have ordered hardware online, but I just went with what I had.  I stole the metal strap holders from a purse that was in the donate pile.  And I didn’t have any strap sliders, so I had Sweet Pea try the bag on and I stitched the straps where she wanted them placed.  And the drawstring is just  a shoelace (it was the perfect length)!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Well I hope you are having a happy beginning to your summer!  Sweet Pea is now ready with her bag to pack a few things up and have fun with her friends!  No really, as soon as I was done sewing the bag, she asked if she could pack it up and head over to a friend’s house!  Happy summer, I hope it is sweet!

The London Calling Backpack :: Dandelion Drift

Art Gallery Fabrics provided me with the Happy Home Fabrics (thanks AGF).  Of course, my opinions here are honest and always truthful!

Shoreline Boatneck

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I have this thrifted shirt that is my absolute favorite shirt I own.  It’s a size XL boatneck shirt that I fell in love with because of the colors, and have continued to love because of it’s super slouchiness.  I looked at Melissa’s shoreline boatneck shirt pattern and thought I could recreate that favorite shirt (which now has a couple holes from wearing it so much)!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion DriftShoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion DriftShoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I grabbed a yard of sweater knit fabric from Michael Levine Fabrics and set to work.  I decided to size up this pattern so that I could get just the right amount of slouchiness.  My measurements put me into a size small, but I cut out the size medium.  I  cut the pattern exactly as instructed, except the sleeves and the facings.  I was running out of fabric for the sleeves (Melissa calls for more yardage than I had on hand), so I cut the sleeves an inch shorter than the 3/4 sleeve length.  I then cut cuffs to add to the ens of my sleeves, which ended up perfect so I could wear them scrunched!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

This shirt was entirely sewn on my serger, except for the neckband and the hem finish.  Those were done with my double needle.  I knew my loose sweater knit fabric wouldn’t hold the shape of the neck facing pattern pieces Melissa includes in the pattern.  Instead, I finished my neckline as described here, by Rachael, with a strip of Anna Maria Horner knit.  I love the little peek of flowers this shirt has on the inside while it is hanging up!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I asked my husband, Josh, to snap a few pictures of me the other night, and a couple hours later he said “I didn’t even put it together, you must have made something you are wearing, but it all looks store bought!”  Woot….sweet compliment from a sweet man!  This slouchy sweater knit boatneck is quickly becoming a new favorite!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

Work in Progress :: Perfectly Imperfect

Alturas Quilt :: Dandelion Drift

I’m trying to learn a few new sewing techniques, one being needle turn applique.  I love Carolyn Friedlander’s philosophy of slow sewing.  I choose to sew because I enjoy it, and I am in no hurry to get a project done.  I want to enjoy the process of sewing, not just the product!

I picked up one of Carolyn’s patterns and tried a little bit of needle turn applique.  This block is absolutely imperfect, but in my eyes, it’s perfect.  There are little wavy lines where the edge should be straight.  Some places my stitches are visible.  My points are more round than pointy.  But all of these imperfections are perfect to me.  They are my starting point.  They are the beginning of my learning journey.  Perfectly imperfect.

Peek at My Week :: Graduation

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Hey there end of May!  How did you get here so quickly?  This month has truly just flown by!  And the end of May means we are finishing up our school year.  I know a lot of homeschoolers go year round, but we need a break, meaning I (the teacher) needs a break!  And I’m sure the kids need a break from me teaching them too…ha!

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The end of May also means that our good family friend is graduating high school tonight!  Woo hoo.  She’s an incredible girl who is definitely going to become an amazing woman.  She’s off to study art at a great college and I know God has wonderful plans for her future!

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A few months back I snapped a handful of senior pictures for her.  Her beauty just radiates and her joyous spirit is contagious!  Happy end of May!  Happy Graduation!  Happy Friday!

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Southport Dress

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

So my friends and I went on a little girls beach trip a couple weekends back and we started talking about clothes.  One friend defined my style as simple, and I would have to agree with her.  I don’t like to put a ton of effort into getting dressed everyday, but I do want to look like I’ve actually tried.  I want to look pulled together without having to work at it.  Does that make me lazy?  Efficient?  I don’t know, but I love to find clothes that can make me look good (without having to do any hard thinking).

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Dresses are it for me.  They are a “one and done” outfit.  I only have to reach for one hanger, and not have to think about what coordinates with the dress.  And with the hot summer, dresses keep me cooler (temperature wise, I’m pretty sure in my 30s I am far from cool, ha!).

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

So the southport dress.  It’s the newest pattern from Kelli at true bias and this pattern is love!  It fits with my one and done, simple style mentality!  I might just sew a handful more before the summer is up!

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I helped Kelli test the pattern (but this is not my tester versions).  After testing the pattern, I knew I wanted to make this pattern out of rayon challis.  I ordered a few yards from the imagine gnats shop and got to work!

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

For this version, I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern (other than shortening the hem).  But my next sew (I will definitely sew this pattern again) I think I need to do a SBA.  I’ve never done one before, but Kelli drafted the pattern for a C cup, and I’m no where near that, ha!  Either that or size down in the bodice.

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I sewed a size 4, graded out to a size 6 at the hips.  I’ve recently seen more people share their measurements and I think it’s pretty helpful when seeing how a garment fits on different bodies.  So here’s mine: 34 – 27 – 37.  .

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

When I was cutting out the pattern, I was trying to conserve as much of the rayon challis I possibly could so I could make a sutton blouse out of the fabric (which you can read about here).  So I cut the pockets out of a lightweight chambray, which you can see the tiniest peak of in this picture.

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Alright, details….that’s what I’m loving when I sew nowadays.  I love the button placket, drawstring waist, pockets, bartacks (to keep the pockets from pulling on the seams), and the long front slit.  Have I said I love this dress and all it’s details yet?  Kelli has this maxi length and a shorter, above the knee version as part of her pattern.

Southport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

What have you been sewing lately?  Any style confessions (or maybe realizations)?

Peek at My Week :: Walking

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When the kids were little, we used to take daily walks.  Mostly, it was probably to help fill the time.  But it became our thing.  And I loved it.  Somehow, business has seeped into our lives and walking with each other has become a thing of the past.

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Well this week, we picked back up and went on one walk.  One…it’s better than not at all.  And it was great.  We talked about the day.  We found cool things (like a beehive in the knob of the tree).  We just slowed down and enjoyed each other.

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I want daily walks to become part of our routine again!

Work In Progress :: My Craft Hour

I love how we are all a work in progress.  I am slowly learning what works for me, and what does not.  One thing I have always known is I am not a night owl.  I never have been.  I remember at sleep overs as a kid I would always be the first to fall asleep.  Even now as an adult, I just cannot stay up late.  I don’t function that way!

Oddly, I have been saving my crafting hour for after the kids go to bed at night.  I’d pull out my sewing machine and start to work on a project after 9 pm.  No surprise, but I’d make silly mistakes, pull out my seam ripper, and then have to set it all down and put it away because I was just not functioning!

Well this week Josh and I have decided to try going to bed right after the kids go down.  No projects are being pulled out, nothing is getting worked on in the wee hours of the night.  And do you know what?  It is perfect.  This earlier bedtime is leaving me feeling rested and waking up in the early hours of the morning to work on things.  My mind is clear in the morning.  I feel awake and focused.  And that little seam ripper hasn’t made an appearance once!

Sunset :: Dandelion Drift

So I’m curious, when is your craft hour?